News18 English

Journey of Fake Girlfriend: Shows Tensions Over Finding a Spouse

World | Reuters | October 30, 2017, 9:17 am
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 Zhao Yuqing waits for a Spring Festival ritual hosted by Wang Quanming's family to begin in the early morning, in Anxi, Fujian province, China. Zhao Yuqing, a recent law graduate, said she was intrigued by the websites and mobile apps aimed at single people looking to hire an instant partner whom they can present to relatives during the new year holidays. (Image: Reuters)

Zhao Yuqing waits for a Spring Festival ritual hosted by Wang Quanming's family to begin in the early morning, in Anxi, Fujian province, China. Zhao Yuqing, a recent law graduate, said she was intrigued by the websites and mobile apps aimed at single people looking to hire an instant partner whom they can present to relatives during the new year holidays. (Image: Reuters)

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 Zhao Yuqing hugs her dogs on the night before she leaves for Wang Quanming's hometown, in Beijing, China. Zhao said she was nervous about her meeting with Wang. During the holidays, single men and women are often subjected to lectures from family members keen on reinforcing the importance of marriage and securing the family bloodline. Some singles resort to hiring fake girlfriends and boyfriends through date-for-hire apps and websites. (Image: Reuters)

Zhao Yuqing hugs her dogs on the night before she leaves for Wang Quanming's hometown, in Beijing, China. Zhao said she was nervous about her meeting with Wang. During the holidays, single men and women are often subjected to lectures from family members keen on reinforcing the importance of marriage and securing the family bloodline. Some singles resort to hiring fake girlfriends and boyfriends through date-for-hire apps and websites. (Image: Reuters)

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 Zhao Yuqing uses her mobile phone at her apartment before leaving for Wang Quanming's hometown, in Beijing, China. Educated and attractive twenty-somethings can command fees of 3,000 yuan to 10,000 yuan ($436 to $1,453) a day over the busy festive period, according to mobile apps and websites are seen by Reuters. Yuqing said in her online advertisement that she wanted the experience of being a holiday companion and would only charge for the transportation to the person's hometown. (Image: Reuters)

Zhao Yuqing uses her mobile phone at her apartment before leaving for Wang Quanming's hometown, in Beijing, China. Educated and attractive twenty-somethings can command fees of 3,000 yuan to 10,000 yuan ($436 to $1,453) a day over the busy festive period, according to mobile apps and websites are seen by Reuters. Yuqing said in her online advertisement that she wanted the experience of being a holiday companion and would only charge for the transportation to the person's hometown. (Image: Reuters)

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 Zhao Yuqing takes a selfie with her dogs before sending them to a pet care center and leaving for Wang Quanming's hometown, in Beijing, China. (Image: Reuters)

Zhao Yuqing takes a selfie with her dogs before sending them to a pet care center and leaving for Wang Quanming's hometown, in Beijing, China. (Image: Reuters)

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 Zhao Yuqing feeds her dogs before she leaves for Wang Quanming's hometown, in Beijing, China. Zhao adopted two street dogs and they recently gave birth to two puppies. (Image: Reuters)

Zhao Yuqing feeds her dogs before she leaves for Wang Quanming's hometown, in Beijing, China. Zhao adopted two street dogs and they recently gave birth to two puppies. (Image: Reuters)

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 Zhao Yuqing admires her pets before leaving them in a pet centre in Beijing, China. (Image: Reuters)

Zhao Yuqing admires her pets before leaving them in a pet centre in Beijing, China. (Image: Reuters)

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 Zhao Yuqing looks at a Chinese character

Zhao Yuqing looks at a Chinese character "Fu", which means good fortune, on a poster in the elevator of her apartment, in Beijing, China. Zhao left for Wang's hometown two days before Chinese New Year. (Image: Reuters)

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 Zhao Yuqing rides in a car on her way to Beijing airport for a flight to Wang Quanming's hometown, in Beijing, China. (Image: Reuters)

Zhao Yuqing rides in a car on her way to Beijing airport for a flight to Wang Quanming's hometown, in Beijing, China. (Image: Reuters)

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 Zhao Yuqing talks to Wang Quanming on her phone after her plane lands in the city of Quanzhou, in Fujian province, China. The two will drive to Wang's hometown of Anxi the next day. (Image: Reuters)

Zhao Yuqing talks to Wang Quanming on her phone after her plane lands in the city of Quanzhou, in Fujian province, China. The two will drive to Wang's hometown of Anxi the next day. (Image: Reuters)

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 Wang Quanming poses for a photograph near the family home where he lived until he was 15 years old, in Anxi county, Fujian province, China. From a pool of 700 responses, Yuqing chose Wang Quanming, a website operator in his early thirties from the rural south.

Wang Quanming poses for a photograph near the family home where he lived until he was 15 years old, in Anxi county, Fujian province, China. From a pool of 700 responses, Yuqing chose Wang Quanming, a website operator in his early thirties from the rural south. "He is being pressured to find a wife and his need to rent a girlfriend is real," Yuqing told a photojournalist who approached her and Wang Quanming after seeing the online ad and learning about their agreement. (Image: Reuters)

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 Before driving to Wang Quanming's hometown, Zhao Yuqing writes down her conditions for posing as Wang Quanming's girlfriend during their three-day visit with Wang's family, in Quanzhou, Fujian. Before setting off last January for his family home in the hills of Fujian, they hammered out details of the false long-distance relationship to tell his parents, and set ground rules for the home visit. There was to be no kissing, sleeping together or drinking alcohol, but she was ready to help with household chores, Yuqing and Quanming agreed in a hand-written contract seen by Reuters. (Image: Reuters)

Before driving to Wang Quanming's hometown, Zhao Yuqing writes down her conditions for posing as Wang Quanming's girlfriend during their three-day visit with Wang's family, in Quanzhou, Fujian. Before setting off last January for his family home in the hills of Fujian, they hammered out details of the false long-distance relationship to tell his parents, and set ground rules for the home visit. There was to be no kissing, sleeping together or drinking alcohol, but she was ready to help with household chores, Yuqing and Quanming agreed in a hand-written contract seen by Reuters. (Image: Reuters)

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 Zhao Yuqing and Wang Quanming (R) play with a dog at the apartment where Zhao stayed for a night in the city of Quanzhou Fujian province, China. They drove to Quanming's hometown the next morning. (Image: Reuters)

Zhao Yuqing and Wang Quanming (R) play with a dog at the apartment where Zhao stayed for a night in the city of Quanzhou Fujian province, China. They drove to Quanming's hometown the next morning. (Image: Reuters)

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 Wang Quanming's mother Nong Xiurong greets Zhao Yuqing when she arrived in Wang's hometown, in Anxi, Fujian province, China. When the couple arrived, Quanming's mother, Nong Xiurong, tried to make Yuqing feel at home and respected her son's request to leave the two alone and not ask questions about their relationship, according to Yuqing, Quanming and his mother. (Image: Reuters)

Wang Quanming's mother Nong Xiurong greets Zhao Yuqing when she arrived in Wang's hometown, in Anxi, Fujian province, China. When the couple arrived, Quanming's mother, Nong Xiurong, tried to make Yuqing feel at home and respected her son's request to leave the two alone and not ask questions about their relationship, according to Yuqing, Quanming and his mother. (Image: Reuters)

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 Wang Quanming's mother (R) gives a pack of tea leaves to Zhao Yuqing as a gift before Zhao leaves Wang's hometown, in Anxi, Fujian province, China. Anxi is located in a famous Chinese tea producing area. (Image: Reuters)

Wang Quanming's mother (R) gives a pack of tea leaves to Zhao Yuqing as a gift before Zhao leaves Wang's hometown, in Anxi, Fujian province, China. Anxi is located in a famous Chinese tea producing area. (Image: Reuters)

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 Zhao Yuqing picks bean pods with Wang Quanming in Anxi, Fujian province. Zhao said she had never been to a rural area and that was one of the reasons why she chose Wang over other applicants. (Image: Reuters)

Zhao Yuqing picks bean pods with Wang Quanming in Anxi, Fujian province. Zhao said she had never been to a rural area and that was one of the reasons why she chose Wang over other applicants. (Image: Reuters)

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 Zhao Yuqing points to a pig during a visit to a farm in Wang Quanming's hometown, in Anxi, Fujian province, China. (Image: Reuters)

Zhao Yuqing points to a pig during a visit to a farm in Wang Quanming's hometown, in Anxi, Fujian province, China. (Image: Reuters)

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 Wang Quanming takes pictures as Zhao Yuqing plays with fireworks on the eve of the Spring Festival in Anxi, Fujian province, China. (Image: Reuters)

Wang Quanming takes pictures as Zhao Yuqing plays with fireworks on the eve of the Spring Festival in Anxi, Fujian province, China. (Image: Reuters)

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 Wang Quanming and Zhao Yuqing go for a walk on the day of the Spring Festival, in Anxi, Fujian province, China. (Image: Reuters)

Wang Quanming and Zhao Yuqing go for a walk on the day of the Spring Festival, in Anxi, Fujian province, China. (Image: Reuters)